Archive for Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hearing scheduled to hear arguments in lawsuit filed over death of SAE fraternity member at KU

November 17, 2010


A Douglas County judge has scheduled a December hearing for arguments on motions in a wrongful death lawsuit the family of a Kansas University student has brought against Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

The attorney for Jay Wren, father of 19-year-old Jason Wren of Littleton, Colo., has filed a motion asking to seek punitive damages in the suit, alleging the fraternity has not changed how it operates since the March 2009 incident and citing an April 2010 violation in which alcohol was provided to pledges.

Wren was found dead March 8, 2009, at the chapter house, 1301 W. Campus Road, after a night of heavy drinking. He was living there as a pledge after he was no longer allowed to live at a KU residence hall due to past alcohol violations.

An attorney for the SAE fraternity and housing corporation has refuted the plaintiff’s claims. The defense attorney argues the plaintiffs cannot use events after Wren’s death to seek punitive damages.

According to defense filings in the case, the chapter expelled 22 actives after the April 2010 violation and the chapter had no alcohol violations prior to the incident that led to Wren’s death.

During a status conference Wednesday morning, District Judge Michael Malone scheduled one hour on Dec. 17 for arguments in the case. A trial is scheduled for April 25.


BruceWayne 7 years, 6 months ago

just how many miles can LJW get from this story?

Bryan Mayes 7 years, 6 months ago

gasp "alleging the fraternity has not changed how it operates since the March 2009 incident and citing an April 2010 violation in which alcohol was provided to pledges" you mean underage drinking is common practice, and it didn't end with the tragic death of this 19 year old? I am shocked...or not. I agree with you BW, this story is dead to me (no pun intended). Nothing is going to change, kids (over 18 or not, they are still kids) will be kids. And the LJW will be the LJW, running the same story in a different capacity over and over and over.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 6 months ago

"The defense attorney argues the plaintiffs cannot use events after Wren’s death to seek punitive damages."

I have to agree with that.

Vinny1 7 years, 6 months ago

Once again this guy needs to let it go.

The only people at fault are him, and his son. He took and drank with his son at a bar a couple weeks before he died. He knew his son had and used a fake ID. He knew his son got kicked out of the dorms. He let him join and move into a frat. His son had drinking problems all the way back to high school at home.

To try and blame and ruin anyone else is just a reflection on how little he actually cares about his sons death. He is just now trying to get money out of it. He isn't actually helping anything.

If this guy gets any amount of money it is a complete failure by the governmental systems.

yoyogirl 7 years, 6 months ago

People are unbelievable with their comments. A kid died, his sister and his mom.....from this horrible tragedy. Kids are kids.......they are going to do stupid things. I love how everyone is critical of each side. I hope none of you would have to go thru something like this. It is a sad, sad story. I have a heavy heart for everyone involved.

BlackVelvet 7 years, 6 months ago

Yo, yoyo......yes, kids are going to do stupid things. Parents sometimes do stupid things. Why does someone who tragically lost a child feel the need to blame the rest of the world for his lack of parenting tho? This is not the fault of the fraternity, period. No amount of blaming others, no amount of money, will get this man's family back. But he must accept the fact it is not the fraternity's fault.

yoyogirl 7 years, 6 months ago when a kid does stupid's the parents fault??? Lack of parenting....??? Are you a parent? I'm not saying it was the fraternity's you see that in my post? You're right parents do stupid things too, but I was just saying it's a sad situation all around. But I know how it works at the Frat houses. Those boys have rush parties for Seniors in high school and supply alcohol to them.....

Vinny1 7 years, 6 months ago

Yes, its a very sad situation.

But that is absolutely zero reason to blame everyone but the only person to blame in it all...his son. This guy just can not accept fact. No one else killed his son. His son killed himself.

Beth Ann Bittlingmayer 7 years, 6 months ago

What you have just said is "horrible." The man may have issues to deal with he - he may not be perfect - but you can not blame his son's disease on him. Some parents drink, use drugs, and abuse their kids and the kids turn out healthy. Some people, myself included, raise children in a healthy environment and what starts out as experimentation escalates quickly into full blown alcoholism. It's very sad that Jason's father is having difficulty accepting the situation. It's equally sad that there are people out there so willing to rush to judgment and say that a young adult's alcoholism or drug addiction is the result of poor parenting. That's just scapegoating.

BlackVelvet 7 years, 6 months ago

and isn't it also "scapegoating" for Jason's father to rush to blame/sue the fraternity for his son's alcohol abuse problems? Problems he had long before moving into the fraternity? Problems his father was aware of long before Jason moved into a frat? I'm sympathetic for his father for losing so much, but for him to want to place the blame on the frat is not right either. It's.................scapegoating?

Paula Kissinger 7 years, 6 months ago

"the fraternity has not changed how it operates since the March 2009 incident "

Are you serious ? The fraternity has not changed how it operates since 1979 that I personally am aware of...nor will it even after repeated sanctions, crimes, violations and a death.

jtop 7 years, 6 months ago

"The fraternity has not changed how it operates since 1979 that I personally am aware of..."

Care to elaborate? If you have some information that the rest of us are not aware of, perhaps you could share.

amesn 7 years, 6 months ago

The frat cannot be blamed wholly for this young man's death but it does sound like there was failure to aquire help for him when he laid there for however long dying of alcohol poisoning. Not having walked in Mr. Wren's shoes it is difficult to fathom the emotions he is experiencing at this time. Is he an idiot as one commenter states? Hardly. He is a grieving father and husband that is grasping for what he may view as closure for him during this tragic mourning. Is litigation against the fraternities the proper wayto handle his grief and anger? No, but can any of us begin to empathasize with this man's grief in a manner that gives us a right to pass such harsh judgement? Doubtful. Aparantly all of you are model parents of children who have never had a single error in judgement. He made a terrible decision to allow his underaged son drink alcohol at a bar with him and he probably should have recognized the signs that his son had a problem and sought help for him. Now he will live the rest of his life feeling responsible for the death of not only his son, but his daughter and wife as well. Is this suitable punishment for this 'idiot'?

Vinny1 7 years, 6 months ago

The kid went to bed...just like any other drunk person.

You seriously want an ambulance called every single time some kid goes to bed drunk? There are not enough ambulances or hospital beds in the city for than on a monday night, let alone a friday or saturday night.

Zachary Stoltenberg 7 years, 6 months ago

I realize that the story writer was probably never in the Greek system, but please, stop saying fraternity member. He was a pledge, for less than 24 hours at that. That's not a member. Again, this isn't a fraternity issue, it's an alcoholic with a lack of parenting issue.

Danimal 7 years, 6 months ago

Ridiculous, he was living in, and died in a fraternity house. I'll agree that this latest action on behalf of the family is too much, but to try and completely dismiss any blame from the Greek system (or at least this particular house) is self-serving at best. I think the entire Greek system needs to be cleared out of KU. Such racist, elitist institutions have no place at a public university. I guess if they die participating in fraternity activities before they're a full-fledged member the fraternity is totally without blame? I think anytime a pledge or member dies as a result of participating in fraternity activities on fraternity property it's certainly a fraternity issue.

smthhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

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